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Didn't get to apologise or say goodbye to my Father (who I love very much)


moonbumscorpio45

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moonbumscorpio45

My dad died suddenly on the 10th December 2020. We still as of 28th December 2020 do not have a primary cause of death. I am struggling to comprehend that he has died and that I will no longer be able to have a conversation with him. He was in early 80s and he just suddenly became bed bound with a fever and died when I was away on a work trip.

My dad and I have the same temperament and are very opinionated men. I love him with my whole being. Unfortunately, some time back in 2018 we fell out and I stopped talking to him. I still cared about him but I see now I projected my problems onto him and blamed him for a lot of things which weren't his fault. In some ways, I'm glad we didn't constantly have our little arguments which escalated as I knew he was old and didn't want to always be at war with him. Anyway, we didn't speak and I was not a good son to him. I still cared for him and would send him money/help him occasionally as he was a pensioner but we didn't speak. Flashback to 07th December 2020, I heard him groaning in bed but I thought he was just having his winter illness like he has most years. I stood in the corridor too scared to go in and in my head I said "if you don't go in, say sorry and tell him you love him you may regret this forever". Here I am today filled with guilt and regret. I know our relaiionship was more than this last period of not talking but it hurts that I never got to say goodbye and let him know I love him, respect him and am proud to be his son.

Additionally, my job requires travel extensively throughout UK to hospitals so I decided to move out in July 2020 so as not to potentially bring this blasted COVID-19 back and give it to my parents. I did not see him much and we only spoke indirectly through our family Whatsapp chat. Last time I physically saw him was in October :'( (he was well then). I struggle with old messages as I could be nasty and I hate that I was like that. I sometimes push away those that love me the most. What an awful mistake I've made. The one man that did everything for me, raised me and loved me unconditionally I pushed away and treated so badly. How I wish I could go back and let him know just how sorry I am.

I just want to know how will I live with this. I know he's died and I have to continue. I know he will always be a part of me. How will I deal with the fact the ending was not the one he deserved and that I should've been a better son to him. I love him so much and always will. Our relationship was not always like that, we had good times (ups and downs) but the happy times were happy. He believed in me when I didn't believe in myself and did everything he could to help me. Now I just wish I can hug him and tell him how much i love him. I miss him so much.

There's no happy ending in death (at least I don't think). Has anyone been in a similar situation? How did you deal with these feelings? I've trawled the internet but everything paints the deceased as the bad person but I know in this case I was mainly at fault. Peace and blessings to all of you! xx

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Relationships with parents can be complicated and, when the beloved parent is gone, children are often hard on themselves for the times the relationship was strained. I am not privy to the messages between you and your father, but I would be willing to wager that your father knew you loved him and that he also loved you. As you said, he loved you unconditionally and almost certainly understood that you and he were alike in terms of temperament. His passing is still very recent and feelings of guilt after the loss of a loved one are common. Try to be fair to yourself. Sometimes, even when an aged parent is in good health, people still realize that time is short and, without full awareness, distance themselves emotionally from the parent, to soften the blow that is still on the horizon. It is obvious that you had a strong attachment to your father and I would not say you were a bad son. Again, he knew you loved him and he loved you. I wish you the best.

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I am so sorry you are going through this. Like Bequet said, guilt is a natural part of the grieving process and most of us experience it in one way or another. You obviously care for your parents. Moving out of the home to protect them from potential exposure to COVID. Your care and concern is evident. Your father would have seen that. 
My mother’s passing was very sudden and there was lots that was left unsaid between us. I wrote my Mum a very lengthy letter which helped me to say all the things I needed to say to her. I put it in the coffin with her. If you feel it may help you maybe you could write a letter to your Dad saying all the good and bad things you need to say. You could rip it up afterwards.

Take care of yourself. 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I think we all have that feeling after losing our beloved parents that we didn't say enough or do enough. I certainly did. These feelings are normal and natural part of grief.  

My father was a quiet man and very stubborn. Our communication wasn't great. I tried to do everything I thought was right for him and still in the end failed to see he was dying. I too thought we would have more time to say the things that needed to be said. It's been hard. I've visited his gravesite to apologize many times. I've cried an ocean of tears and there are days it still hurts.

There is no right way or wrong way to grieve. Monty has a very a good suggestion about writing a letter to your father. Or try talking out loud as if he is in the room. I'm sure he would say I love you son, I forgive you and I am always with you. 

Please know you are not alone. Our thoughts are with you. x 

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moonbumscorpio45

Thank you. I will write him a letter for the funeral. I wanted to see him before the funeral but the funeral home said this won't be possible as he tested positive for COVID-19. I go to his room everyday and speak to him.

I still can't believe he just died. He was such a constant in my life. Even though I knew he was old, I never expected him to go so soon. Bless you all. Take care xx

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Thinking of you as you work towards the funeral. A difficult day but a day to celebrate his life. Take care. 

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Dear mbs45,

Many people have offered their condolences and their hope and thoughts that your dad knew your love and I do share their words.  If you know that your dad loved you, then you can be sure the reverse is true.

I would like to talk to you about your dad's legacy.  This is a way that I know that a person can make amends or make a difference to that lasting regret when their loved one is lost.  If you think about who your father was or who you would want to be in his eyes, and you live towards this vision, this may be helpful in healing your relationship, even without his presence.

There are many, many people who have much they have to live with after a loved one dies.  Things they can never take back or make up for.  My nephew, as an example, was deep in his addiction and stole my father's credit card as he was laying in his death bed.

But I also know that many people find a way to move that guilt or regret to something that gives them strength and even makes them feel closer to their lost love.  It's what I call finding what part of your dad or your relationship you want to live as a legacy to him. 

I hope you can accept the small bit of peace you find along the way.

<3

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Midwestgirl

Currently I'm in a similar situation and my heart just hurts for you and wants to hug you. Part of that reason is because that is what I need from someone else who can relate to what I am going through and the other reason is because I know how this deep the grief rabbit hole can take you if you do not allow yourself to feel every emotion all the way through. Regret is a tricky one to navigate but we just have to trust the process. Sending you lots of love and light 

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On 12/30/2020 at 10:13 PM, Heartlight said:

It's what I call finding what part of your dad or your relationship you want to live as a legacy to him. 

If my Father left me a legacy, I would say it is to tell the truth as he always did about what happened in our family; what caused the rift and the ensuing separation; and to love the abusers, but also to seek to make them understand the damage caused by their abuse and that reconcilation is offered to them. They hated him, and still hate him, for this legacy; but I know what my Father worked toward and what he would have me do is the right and good thing; and I will do it for as long as I am able. And I know my Father would want me to find Joy again; to stay close to God and live. Just live, which is difficult; but that is what he would want for me. I know it. Be well, @TLN.

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